Still no difference-maker for one of the league's worst defenses, though.

Agent says Allen deal done
May 10, 2007

Updated: 10:45 p.m.

The Bengals wrapped up another deal with a defensive tackle Thursday night when agent Harold Lewis said Kenderick Allen has agreed to a one-year contract with the club.

The Bengals don’t confirm deals until the contract is signed.

The 6-5 Allen, joining his fourth team in five years, is an agile 330-pounder when healthy who is coming off a foot injury that limited him to two games last season in Green Bay.

He becomes the second Lewis client in a week to come on board the defense for one year with both Allen and linebacker Ed Hartwell expected to report to the first voluntary practice on Tuesday.

Allen is also the third defensive tackle to come into the fold in the past two weeks after they picked up Michael Myers from Denver in free agency and drafted Oregon’s Matt Toeaina in the sixth round.

They join starters John Thornton and Sam Adams, and Domata Peko, the first tackle off the bench. Defensive ends Jonathan Fanene, Bryan Robinson and perhaps Frostee Rucker can also play inside on passing downs.

Lewis submits that Allen can also play all three downs and that the Bengals were the best fit for his client.

“We had offers from a couple of other teams, but the Bengals were the only team he visited and he hit if off with Jay Hayes,” said Lewis of the defensive line coach. “He’s going to a division where they like to pound it up the middle and going to a team that has been looking for big guys to stop the run.”

Lewis says Allen and Hartwell are nearly mirror images in the sense that both are talented, athletic guys trying to prove they have overcome some major injuries. Along with some knee problems, Allen is coming off a Lisfranc injury that is usually a dislocation in the mid foot area and derailed a career in which he played two seasons and 19 games for the Giants with 31 tackles and three sacks.

Before the 2005 season, Hartwell was one of the NFL’s most sought after free agents but he has played in just 13 games since signing a $25 million deal with Atlanta in a stint hounded by a ripped Achilles and some knee problems.

Hartwell, who turns 29 in two weeks while Allen turns 29 in the second week of the season, is believed to have an incentive-laden deal topping out at $1.5 million. Allen is probably closer to a minimum salary with a small signing bonus, but the concept is the same.

“These are two great character kids who are trying to show everybody that they’re back healthy,” Lewis said. “They aren’t big deals, but you have to hit a bunch of singles before you hit home runs. It works out great for both sides.

“They get a chance to help a team that is contending for the Super Bowl on a defense that isn’t as well known as its offense,” Lewis said. “If they play well enough, hopefully the Bengals come to them before the end of next year, and certainly they’ll be on a team that gets noticed.”

Hartwell is saying he’ll be moving from middle linebacker to the right outside when he arrives in Cincinnati’s 4-3 alignment, a position that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says isn’t much different than the inside spot he played in Baltimore’s 3-4. It was Lewis who was the Ravens defensive coordinator when Baltimore took Hartwell in the fourth round of the 2001 draft, Lewis’ last with the Ravens.

Allen had a tougher road, coming into the league in 2003 undated and signing with the hometown Saints out of LSU. The next season New Orleans cut him and the Giants picked him up on waivers before he ended up in Green Bay.